Everyone wants to know after the Bucs fell to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Playoffs. Brady has a number of options moving forward, so let’s break them down.
The older Tom Brady gets, the more apparent Tampa Bay‘s decline has become. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be serviceable in the league next year, but Tampa’s uncertainty is similar to last offseason when Brady retired and then unretired within 40 days.
Given a player of Brady’s magnitude and impact on an entire team’s future, the 45-year-old declined to answer the multimillion-dollar question following his team’s playoff loss over the weekend: What’s next? Is his seven-ring storied career going to end this way — completing 35 of 66 pass attempts with two touchdowns and one interception?
Is this really it?
He has options, but the Buccaneers don’t have much of a safety net if he leaves. Blaine Gabbert is currently their backup QB. Star WR Mike Evans is only signed for one more year. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is reportedly on his way out. And head coach Todd Bowles won’t commit to a rebuild.
The ripple effect of whatever Brady decides to do is tremendous. Maybe he runs it back. Maybe he goes to a team like the Raiders to help get Davante Adams the ball. Heck, maybe he considers Miami again.
Would those teams even want him? NFL Insiders say yes, but Brady wasn’t very good this last season, throwing for 9.6 yards per throw on average, the lowest of his career and second-lowest in the NFL this season. Not to mention, it was the first time throughout his 23-year career in which his team finished below .500.
Nothing is off the table for the 45-year-old unrestricted free agent, and we certainly can’t read the future. But we can show what options he has on the field and off the field. Let’s take a look.
What’s Next for Tom Brady?
“I’ve always said 45 was the age that I wanted to reach and that was my goal,” Brady said in June 2021.
“If I still want to keep playing, I might be able to do that,” Brady added. “And if that’s enough, then that would be enough.“
In 2022, the Bucs restructured Brady’s contract and created $9 million in cap space as the team prepared to sign its draft picks. His base salary was only $1.12 million in 2022 (42nd among QBs), but he earned $30 million in total cash this past season (No. 7).
By Spotrac’s estimates, another TB12 contract extension is pegged at two years, $81,785,760. That would rank No. 14 in the NFL in terms of total value behind Ryan Tannehill. His average annual salary is projected at $40,892,880, which would rank seventh— one spot behind Josh Allen.
Teams WILL spend it despite an inconsistent season from Brady. But will he even bother?
FOX is patiently waiting for the ball to drop and for Brady to call it quits. This past May, the NY Post reported that Brady will join FOX as a lead analyst, which was later confirmed by the network. The deal would pay him $375 million over 10 years for an average salary of $37.5 million per year.
FOX color commentator Greg Olsen told Brady, “You know, Tom, this TV shit sucks.” Maybe it’s tough, but at $37.5 million per year for less body damage, less pressure, more free time, etc. — it probably sounds pretty damn good to Terrific Tom.
Investments & Worth
Brady is set regardless of what he does moving forward. Brady earned more than $333 million since entering the league in 2000 and he was the ninth-highest-paid athlete around the globe in 2022 — $52 million in endorsements and $31.9 million in winnings/salary — for $83.9 million total.
His investment portfolio is endless and his ventures this past season include performance apparel brand BRADY Brand, an NFT platform for digital collectibles called Autograph, and an app-based VR golf experience called GOLF+, all while also becoming a co-owner for a Major League Pickleball team.
And the most important thing in this all — he has three kids. Whether he plays another year, steps into the booth, focuses on his portfolio, or simply enjoys life with his family — Brady wins no matter what a playoff score might indicate.
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